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Old 01-26-2005, 08:55 AM   #15
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Good Morning,
Our Cessna has a 3M film on wings' leading edges for paint abrasion protection and easy clean-up from 150 mph insect strikes and it does an excellant job.
I would need to see a lot more "proof" that a similar material could protect aluminum panels from 50 mph+ flying rocks impacts.
Good Luck,

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Old 01-26-2005, 06:46 PM   #16
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Crossville , Tennessee
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3m Film

I have two thoughts for you.
I have pulled for many years, using a set of mud flaps I made myself, which look very much like the ROADMASTERS pictured in an earlier post. What I did that has done the most to protect my trailer is I adapted my mounting to where the top edge of the flaps were above the bumper on my truck, and real snug to it, giving no gap for rocks to come through. I purchased the flaps from a truck stop getting the largest. I added a metal bar to the bottom to keep them from sailing, and through trial and error, found the best length to keep rocks from coming underneath. I also have them approx. 1 1/2 inches out on each side of the truck. They work very well, and I remove them with my hitch so they are not in the way when I'm not towing.
The other thing.
I also have an Airstream Motorhome, the 390 XL. From the factory, it came with the film applied to the front, above the windshield to protect the paint. It is still on there, and appears to be doing a good job. Also, I have been to a couple of 'high end' motorhome dealerships in the last year. In each and every one of them, they now are offering, as an option, the installation of this very material for paint protection. I'm convinced that if it works on million dollar motorhomes, it would work on our Airstreams. The biggest thing would be the installation. Have you considered checking with a motorhome dealer to see who they use for applications?
Good luck,

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Old 01-29-2005, 08:38 PM   #17
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Boise , Idaho
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Originally Posted by 2airishuman
talked with another film installer today.

venture shield was the other company (i was trying to recall) who makes the film. visit there web site.

Hi 2air-

Since my last post, we have taken delivery on the new Classic and I have had two film installers look at it. I also found another installer in the area who will look at it the first of next week. At least one of them, besides 3M, uses film from another manufacturer.

It doesn't appear that expansion/contraction will be a problem. The film has the ability to be stretched to a certain extent around curves, certainly more stretch than needed to take care of expansion/contraction of the trailer skin. And, Ed's post saying his Cessna has it on the leading edge of the wings shows that it must handle expansion/contraction without a problem.

As for Ed's comment regarding protecting aluminum panels from 50mph+ flying rocks impact, 3M says the following: "3M lab tested this product by peppering it with 1/2-inch diameter stones at 60 mph and it didn't chip the paint". Coming from 3M I would put some faith in that statement. And, they guarantee that it will protect the paint, and will fix any damage to the paint (or film). One of the installers told me he had to honor that guarantee on a Land Rover that passed a snowplow, which of course picks up not only snow but whatever else was on the pavement. In this case, there must have been some pretty good sized rocks and it tore the film in a few places, but protected the paint except for 3 small chips. And I looked over an Airstream motorhome that had the film on the front, and while I certainly could have missed something as I didn't go over it inch by inch, I saw no rock chips in the paint except in the small areas that weren't covered by the film, for example around the lights where there is too much curvature for the film to conform so there is an eighth of an inch or so that isn't covered.

However, the rivet heads may be another matter. Neither installer was sure the film would conform and avoid an air pocket; but, although tedious, a hole could be cut out of the film for each rivet head. I wonder if Ed (macsfriended) could comment on whether the film covered any rivets (which I doubt).

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Old 01-30-2005, 12:12 AM   #18
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hi earl
Originally Posted by EKBrace
Hi 2air-

Since my last post, we have taken delivery on the new Classic

Neither installer was sure the film would conform and avoid an air pocket; but, although tedious, a hole could be cut out of the film for each rivet head.
congrats on the new home.....let's see some pictures!

i think the film will do what it is advertised and warranted to do....offer protection from most road debris. the air pockets around the rivets won't decrease the protection...they'll just look less than ideal.

i' hope the installers explained that they use a little piercing tool to 'burp' the bubbles that sometimes appear and cannot be worked out near an edge.

they could try this first over the rivet heads. have them just appy a trial piece somewhere and give it a go. it does take a day or three for the film to dry completely and all bubbles to vanish.

if burping doesn't work they could then try the hole cutting you mention over a few rivets on the sample piece. then you could decide which of the 3 looks you like the best.

another place to consider using film is around the door handle/key hole/lock area. it will prevent scuffing the skin in this fact this might be a good spot for the 'trial' piece.

keep us posted and lets see some shots of the silver palace!!

i see you are in idaho....which reminds me of a winter trip i took to idaho/montana in my old airsteam motorhome.....really had a great time but i encountered the most 'grit' on the roads in that area and actually cracked a windshield when passed by a semi hauler.

i like the idea of protective film on the trailer.

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Old 01-30-2005, 05:35 AM   #19
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1500 miles of Yukon gravel this summer

On my 4 month ALCAN trip this summer that included among other things the Dempster Highway to Inuvik, Northwest Territory. The Steese highway n/e of Fairbanks. Took the Cassiar Hwy back.
I built the PVC pipe hardward cloth protection about 4x8 as described by WBCCI caravans (although we went solo) The caravans eat to much and not enough hiking.
Anyway I found that the screen I built took the most, if not all damage where the Airstream Rock guards are. Especially next to the tongue and the lower 10 inches was so beat up I had to add more hardware cloth/wire twice in these areas. The Propane tank cover was not protected and had no damage. The frame below the aluminum behind the propane tanks look sand blasted from rocks but no damage on the protective screen in that area. On muddy days the mud paterns show exactly the areas of concern and Airstream is right on. Protect the same area Airstream does. Put guarden hose on all propane pipe and cover and protect with layers of hardware cloth the water drains on your fresh water. The damage to the guards were so suvere (also repairs a few times) that the drains would of been long gone.
Great Trip

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Old 01-31-2005, 07:04 AM   #20
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Hi EKBrace,
I don't recall if any rivet heads were located at leading edge's horizontal section joints. I will check in the next few days and advise.
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Old 06-20-2006, 08:29 PM   #21
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Durabak will work for that. It is tough and it is attractive. I am going to put it on the "banana skin" on my 79 Sovereign. It has rock scratches and dings in it and I want to cover it up. I am thinking of using black as a contrast color. I am also contemplating silver/gray durabak on the lower front panels of my unit as protection from rocks, debris and road grime. I do know that Durabak is about as tough as it gets and anyone can apply it. It's only $89 a gallon plus shipping which makes it an awesome deal. I just used elastomeric on my roof or i would have used Durabak there too. Just my two cents.

Originally Posted by EKBrace
Hello Ed:

Thanks for the reply. Sounds like Duraback might be just the ticket for protecting the A-frame from rock damage. If they have several different colors, it should be possible to match the color of the Airstream frame pretty closely. Can you give me any leads on where to get info on Duraback, as well as where I might buy some.

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Old 04-24-2007, 01:12 PM   #22
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Lightbulb 3M Scotchgard Paint Protection Film

Has anyone used the film to apply the WBCI or Forum number's to the trailer's.I think you could put a little piece of double face tape on the number's, and put it them in place and cover them with the protective film. Since the film can be removed and it "sticks" to the trailer it's sound's good.

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